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Nearly $2.7 million in Measure M funds have been green-lit by the Orange County Transportation Authority board to improve water quality in Orange County cities from San Clemente to Stanton, the agency recently announced.

Under Measure M, the half-cent sales tax that county voters in 2006 renewed to fund transportation improvement, includes money for a program to conduct environmental cleanups. The program awards the funds on a competitive basis to cities and the county for projects meant to reduce the impacts of water pollution caused by transportation, according to the OCTA.

“This is a great way to help protect Orange County’s natural resources while continuing to improve the way our residents move safely and efficiently,” OCTA Chairman and County Board Supervisor Andrew Do said in the agency’s press release,

“Making these funds available to help protect our water quality demonstrates OCTA’s commitment to delivering on promises made through Measure M,” he continued.

The $2.7 million will fund 10 projects that focus on removing litter and debris from roads before they end up in waterways and the ocean. The project, OCTA adds, also includes purchasing and upgrading screens, filters and inserts for catch basins that are designed to remove pollutants.

San Clemente is among the cities receiving funding, along with Anaheim, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Hills, Los Alamitos, Mission Viejo, Orange and Stanton, according to the OCTA.

Since the program’s inception in 2011, the OCTA board has authorized funding for 199 projects, which has amounted to more than $30 million, according to the agency.

“It is estimated that more than 33 million gallons of trash has since been captured as a result of the installation of these devices,” OCTA said in the release.

More information on the Measure M water quality program can be found at octa.net/water.

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